45 SELF - "Aztec Gameshow Death Ritual" (Sirius Death Ritual 2001, CDR)
Uploaded to Aural Innovations: August 2003
Goddamn, I was supposed to write this review over six months ago, but I've been "living" with these sounds for some time, and they're almost as familiar as any old album. What remains is that I'm still impressed with these two heads (Matt Nemovanta and Mike Sullivan) who combine loads of field, voice and instrument samples with oodles of beats, loops, tronics, treatments and space-synth, far surpassing the typical stylized electonica that's out there and more in line with the heavier and rougher avant-psyche of Chrome or angry industrial-techno of Cabaret Voltaire. Lots of far-our dub effects and electro-warpage á la the Orb and such. They jump all over the place, rarely settling into any type of groove for longer than a minute or two, like early Chrome or some Vas Deferens Organization. Sometimes a theme will reprise itself slightly altered, but generally these guys don't look back. One exception to this is the title-track, which lays down a creepy campy ambient drone as backdrop for mind-fucking synthy squiggles and various other little loops. One track does great stuff with gongs and a crusty electro-beat, another features a depraved industrial sound-scape passage with a Frank Booth sample. Some tracks lay down a more relaxed funk bass-line. Anything (well, many things) goes. On the other hand, they might jump around a bit too much at times. The segues are okay but not always exhilarating. The overall sound is a bit thin, but I can't say how official this release really is. Perhaps subsequent ones will a have a "beefed-up" sound. Still, they nail it on a number of occasions.
For more information you can visit the 45 SELF web site at: http://www.45self.8m.com.
Email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg